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Holiday Calendar

<sh>Nutcracker Ballets

<lst>Nutcracker in a Nutshell. The Center for Ballet Arts presents The Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax in "Nutcracker in a Nutshell" once again this holiday season. Now in its 10th year of production, this condensed version of the Hoffman Christmas tale will delight your family. Two performances will be presented: Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 3 p.m. at the Fairfax High School Theatre, 3500 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax. Tickets are available at the Center for Ballet Arts in Fairfax, at $10/adults, $9/students, $8/children (12 and under) and seniors (60 and over), or at the door on performance day. Call 703-273-5344.

Mia Saunders School of Ballet presents "The Nutcracker" on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Centreville High School Theatre, located at 6001 Union Mill Road, Clifton. Sponsored by the Centreville High School PTSA with proceeds to benefit CVHS arts scholarship fund and the Western Fairfax Christian Ministries Emergency Relief Fund. Tickets are $10/adults, $8/seniors and $6/students. For reservations, call Francine Fuhrer at 703-830-2558 or Christine Marshall at 703-222-5730.

<sh>Holiday Calendar

<lst>At Fair Oaks Mall, the North Polestal Station is back by popular demand. The state-of-the art "Kringle 9000" allows youngsters to "scan" their Santa letters into a super computer that will beam their dreams to Santa's North Pole satellite dish. There is no charge for the service, located on the upper level near Mastercraft Interiors.

Children can also pose for pictures with Santa; packages start at $10.99. Call 703-591-6548.

Miracle of Lights — Northern Virginia's drive-thru holiday light show and one of the largest of its kind in the country — is now opened through Saturday, Jan. 4, 2003 (closed on New Year’s Eve). Hosted by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the Miracle of Lights is being shown at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, and offers more than two miles of lighted entertainment and five holiday theme groups with dozens of twinkling and animated displays in each. On display are Victorian Virginia, Noah’s Ark, Santa’s Woods, The Angel’s Playground, and the 2002 show brings The Return of The Aliens. Cost of admission is $12 per car load (1-14 people), $25 per commercial van (15-34 people) and $50 per bus (35 people or more). Call 703-709-KIDS (5437).

Santa is coming to the Centreville McDonald's on Thursday, Dec. 12 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Children can have their meals with Santa and he will be giving away surprises. Children can also make holiday ornaments with Miss Heidi.

Amid the glow of natural candlelight, experience the spirit of Christmas past at Sully Historic Site on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14. Tours begin at 4:30 p.m. with the last tour at 7:15 p.m. Spend a delightful holiday evening at the 1794 home of Northern Virginia's first congressman, Richard Bland Lee. Meet 18th and 19th century characters as you tour the house and grounds. The program includes Christmas in the field with Civil War troops, a Victorian family gathered around the Christmas tree festooned with toys, angels and popcorn, according to a little girl's recollections from 1885. Join in the caroling and warm up by the fire while enjoying hot cider and cookies. Holiday shopping opportunities await you at Sully's loghouse museum store featuring the new 2002 Sully ornament. The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and children. Reservations required; call 703-437-1794.

The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert will be held Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m., at the George Mason University Concert Hall. Cost is $40-$18. Call tickets.com at 703-218-6500 or online at www.tickets.com.

Encore Theatrical Arts Project (ETAP) will thrill its audience with "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow," a new, musical holiday extravaganza, choreographed and directed by the Raynor van der Merwe. It will be performed on Saturdays, Dec. 14 and 21 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Dec. 15 and 22 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Ernst Cultural Center at the Annandale campus of the Northern Virginia Community College.

The show is the tale of what happens to Christmas elves Ruby and Roscoe when Santa and Mrs. Claus decide they enjoy their Hawaiian vacation and might make it permanent. The story is full of spectacular dancing and singing, with special effects that will dazzle every audience member. The show is enjoyable for all audiences. Tickets are $12 for seniors and children, $15 for adults. Group rates are available. For more information or ticket reservations, call 703-222-5511.

Gate Post Estates plans to hold its annual Luminaria Display on Sunday, Dec. 15 starting at dusk. More than 2,000 luminaria will line the roads of the community, and all are welcomed to visit. Visitors who drive through should be watchful of children and neighbors walking the candle-lit paths. The community is located off Route 29, across from Centreville Baptist church. For details, contact community outreach coordinator and publisher of the Gate Post Gazette, Jenny Bradshaw at 703-266-6798, or jgrovebradshaw@yahoo.com.

Santa will be visiting the Greenbriar McDonald's on Wednesday, Dec. 18 from 6-8 p.m., at 13003 Lee Jackson Highway. Children can have their meals with Santa and he will be giving away surprises. Children can also make holiday ornaments with Miss Heidi.

The Annual Christmas Caroling on Horseback event will be held Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m. in the Town of Clifton. (Snow caused a postponement from Dec. 7). Members of the Clifton Horse Society will ride in costume through the town, singing holiday tunes along the way. They'll end up in King's field, at the end of Chapel Street, where the public is welcome to join them for refreshments and more caroling.

Holiday Musical Spectacular. John Lyon will host a holiday concert featuring The City of Fairfax Band, soprano Barbara DeMaio Caprilli and The Fairfax Choral Society. To be held Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m., at Fairfax High School Auditorium, 3500 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax. Free. Call 703-757-0220 or visit www.fairfaxband.org.

The City of Fairfax Band will present a Family Holiday Concert on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. at Fairfax High School auditorium. The free concert will include guest performer Barbara DeMaio, soprano; singers of the Fairfax Choral Society; seasonal and holiday classics of yesterday and today, a musical rendition of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and the Ultimate Christmas Sing-Along. The school is located at 3500 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax. Call 703-757-0220.

The Westfields Marriott has scheduled these holiday events:

* Wednesday, Dec. 25 — Christmas Day Brunch with live entertainment. Spectacular brunch is served with a culinary selection of seafood, meats, gourmet salads, pastries, and more. Reservations are required. Call 703-818-3520.

* Tuesday, Dec. 31 — New Year's Eve Gala in the Palm Court Restaurant. Live entertainment, five-course dinner and dancing, champagne and more. Call 703-818-0361.

* Tuesday, Dec. 31 — New Year's Eve celebrations in the Wellingtons Pub. Join deejay Chris Beckett to bring in the New Year with tunes, an appetizer buffet, party favors, complimentary champagne toast and more. Call 703-818-3500.

New Year's Eve Ball, sponsored by Spotlight on the Arts. To be held Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 9 p.m.-1 a.m., at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Dance to the sound of NightMusic. Midnight champagne toast. Hors d'oeuvres and dessert. $75 per person. Call 703-352-ARTS or visit www.fairfaxspotlight.org.